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Writing: Informative — How-to example

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- [Instructor] So we've got a writing and language passage here. It's called A Life in Traffic. All right, let's just get into it. A subway system is expanded to provide service to a growing suburb. A bike-sharing program is adopted to encourage non-motorized transportation. Stoplight timing is coordinated to alleviate rush-hour traffic jams in a congested downtown area. When any one of these changes occur, it is likely the result of careful analysis conducted by transportation planners. So that felt a little off. Let's just read a little bit more carefully. When any one of these changes, so they're talking about the individual changes. They're not talking all of these changes at the same time. So if you're saying any one of these things, you have a singular subject right over here so the verb should match that singular subject. But they have occur. If you said all of these changes, then you would say occur. If you're talking about the plural, many changes, what are they doing? They occur. But if you're saying any one change, it doesn't occur. A single thing occurs. This needs to be the singular form, so if that one change occurs, not occur. So this should be occurs. So let's look at the choices. So both of these are occurs. This one says when any one of these changes occurs, they are. Well, we're talking about any one change so you shouldn't refer to it as they for any one change. Remember, if you said when all of these changes occur, then you could have said they are but if you're saying any one, and once again, you're only referring to one of the changes, it occurs and you should refer to it as it. So they're right there. When any one of these changes occurs, it is likely the result of careful analysis conducted by transportation planners. We're now in the second paragraph of A Life in Traffic. The work of transportation planners generally includes evaluating current transportation needs, assessing the effectiveness of existing facilities, and improving those facilities or they design new ones. All right, that felt a little bit off so let's think about what's happening here. They're listing a bunch of stuff. They're listing what is included in the work of transportation planners. So the work of transportation planners generally includes, and then the first thing is evaluating current transportation needs, then assessing the effectiveness of existing facilities, and improving those facilities or they design new ones. So right over here, when we're listing the different things, we see the first several things in our list, we have evaluating, the fancy term for something like this. This is a gerund. This is a verb, you put an I-N-G at the end of it, it becomes a noun. The verb to evaluate, well, now we're talking about the action of evaluating. So that's a gerund, then we have it again, assessing, and then we have improving. And then if you want this sentence to be constructed in a natural way, instead of they design, you would want the gerund form of design which is designing. Let's see how that sounds. The work of transportation planners generally includes evaluating current transportation needs, assessing the effectiveness of existing facilities, and improving those facilities or designing new ones. That sounds a lot better. If you want it to be even clearer, you can just think about these gerunds themselves. So the work of transportation planners generally includes evaluating, assessing, and improving or designing. There you have a nice parallel construction, it's called then, that all of the things that you're listing are in the same form. So this should definitely be designing. Designing. And if we look here, luckily, that is one of the choices. We're now on question three right over here. If you're under time pressure in the SAT, you might wanna think about going straight to the sentence that involves question three in it. And different people might have one different style, some people might wanna read all of the context to kind of keep up with the passage and it depends on how fast you might read, but a lot of these you might be able to jump straight and be able to go straight to the question. So let's do that first then we can go back and see if reading this actually helped us. If analysis of the traffic count indicates that there is more traffic than the current road as it is designed at this time, that sounds a little strange, can efficiently accommodate, the transportation planner might recommend widening the road to add another lane. So they're really just saying if analysis of the traffic count indicates that there's more traffic than the current road can accommodate, than the current road can efficiently accommodate, so really, maybe you don't need any of this stuff right over here. Let's look at the choices. So no change, no, I definitely wanna change it. The way it's written right now is way more complicated than it needs to sound. It's very hard to understand. Current design of the road right now. If analysis of the traffic count indicates that there is more traffic than the current design of the road right now, that right now feels unnecessary. If analysis of the traffic count indicates that there's more traffic than the road as it is now currently designed can efficiently accommodate. Yeah, that's a little bit wordy still. So this one, this one actually, if analysis of the traffic count indicates that there's more traffic than the current design of the road can efficiently accommodate, the transportation planner might recommend widening the road to add another lane. Yep, this is definitely the one. Though I didn't look at the choices, that way, you could just say the current road can efficiently accommodate. We could also say the current design of the road can efficiently accommodate. It makes this a much, much cleaner, easier to understand sentence. Now that we've done that, let's just read, and you obviously would not have time to do this if you were taking the SAT but let's just think about what the rest of it said. Most transportation planners work in or near cities but some are employed in rural areas. Say for example a large factory is built on the outskirts of a small town. Traffic to and from that location would increase at the beginning and end of work shifts. The transportation planner's job might involve conducting a traffic count to determine the daily number of vehicles traveling on the road to the new factory. If analysis of the traffic count indicates that there is more traffic than the current design of the road can efficiently accommodate, the transportation planner might recommend widening the road to add another lane. So all of the sentences in between question two and question three, it's nice, it gives you context for why some transportation planners might have to deal with stuff that's in more rural areas such as where there's a factory, and that's actually the context for having to analyze the traffic as people go to and from work but you actually didn't need to read all of this in order to answer this question right over here. So we're now on to question four. Transportation planners work closely with a number of community stakeholders such as government officials and other interested organizations and individuals. Next, representatives from the local public health department might provide input in designing a network of trails and sidewalks to encourage people to walk more. So next definitely feels like a strange word to put there in this first sentence and I do think it was necessary to read this first sentence here because whatever we put here is I think going to connect that first and the second sentence. So the first sentence is talking about transportation planners. They work with other stakeholders such as government officials and other interested organizations and individuals. Now, here, when they talk about representatives from the local public health department, this looks like an example so I would say something like for example, representatives from the local public health department might provide input in designing a network of trails and sidewalks to encourage people to walk more. So let's see what the choices give us. So we definitely don't wanna say no change. Well, for instance, this is like saying for example. For instance, it's giving an actual instance and an actual example of transportation planners working closely with a community stakeholder. Now, furthermore, this isn't extending what was said in the first sentence. It's giving an example of it. Once again, similarly, it's not saying something that is like what the first sentence said. It's giving an actual example of what the first sentence said. So it's definitely be for instance. For instance, representatives from the local public health department might provide input in designing a network of trails and sidewalks to encourage people to walk more. Members of the Chamber of Commerce might share suggestions about designing transportation and parking facilities to support local businesses. So that was a another example right over there. All right, let's go on to question five. Now, in question five. People who pursue careers in transportation planning have a wide variety of educational backgrounds. That actually feels pretty good. I don't know if I would change that at all but let's see what the other choices are. People who pursue careers in transportation planning have a wide variety of educational backgrounds. When you put these commas around who pursue careers in transportation planning, it makes it look like hey, that's something that doesn't have to be part of the sentence. Sometimes people would say it's an a non-restrictive clause. It kind of tells you another way of thinking about people. It's an optional thing. But for this sentence, we couldn't just say people have a wide variety of educational backgrounds, even though that is true, people do have a wide variety of educational backgrounds. That's not what the meaning of the sentence is. It's very important that we talk about what type of people who pursue careers in transportation planning. So one way you could call it is this is a very important restrictive clause for this sentence. You need to know what type of people. That is key to the meaning of the sentence. I wouldn't put commas around it, which makes you feel that it's hey, this is optional. It's another way of describing the people. Maybe you could just read people have a wide variety of educational backgrounds. So I don't like this. I think for the meaning that we are trying to give that the writer is trying to give, it's very important that you have who pursue careers in transportation planning not have commas. Once again, the commas make it sound like here, it's just another way of describing people, not essential necessarily to the meaning of the sentence, but this is essential to the meaning of sentence. People who pursue careers in transportation planning have a wide variety of education backgrounds. Well, this is kinda doing something similar. Now, they're just putting in transportation planning in commas. One way to think about that is you could say people who pursue careers have a wide variety of educational background. Well, that's a true statement but this whole passage is about people who pursue careers in transportation planning. Just like we said for B, you don't wanna mark this off. You don't wanna mark this off with this clause, making it seem like this clause is kind of optional. You need to say in transportation planning so I wouldn't put commas around it. And then finally, people who pursue careers in transportation planning, comma, have a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Well, that just feels that we're just taking the subject of the sentence and separating it from the predicate of the sentence with a comma for some reason, so that doesn't make any sense. So I would definitely go no change. There's no commas in it. People who pursue careers in transportation planning have a wide variety of educational backgrounds. And then we could keep reading but obviously, if you're under time pressure for the SAT, you wouldn't necessarily have to read all of this. But between answering all these questions, it's nice to be able to read all of this. A two-year degree in transportation technology may be sufficient for some entry-level jobs in the field. Most jobs, however, require at least a bachelor's degree. Majors of transportation planners are varied. Majors of transportation planners are varied including fields such as urban studies, civil engineering, geography, or transportation and logistics management. For many positions in the field, a master's degree is required. So once again, if you were doing this passage, you wouldn't really have to read all of this. You could have just tackled this sentence by itself but if you have the time, it doesn't hurt to, you might learn something about career of transportation planning. We're now on question six and there's a little bug here. I'm using an early prototype version of the software. This is question six of five. That should be six of six. But anyway, I think we get the point. Transportation planners perform critical work within the broader field of urban and regional planning. As of 2010, there were approximately 40,300 urban and regional planners employed in The United States. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts steady job growth in this field, projecting that 16% of new jobs in all occupations will be related to urban and regional planning. So grammatically, that looks correct but then they have this chart down here and it says urban and regional Planners Predict Increase in Employment, Projected 2010 to 2020. And what they tell us about urban and regional planners is that between 2010 and 2020, there's going to be a 16% increase in employment. And so I think what's going on here is that this isn't about grammatically fixing the sentence but actually seeing whether the meaning of this sentence is correct. So this is projecting that 16% of all new jobs, of new jobs in all occupations will be related to urban and regional planning. Is that what this is saying? Is this 16% saying the percent of new jobs and all occupations that will be related to urban and regional planning? No, the 16% says it's the growth in employment in urban and regional planners. It's not saying that 16% of all jobs and all occupations will be related to urban and regional planning. In fact, when you just look at the wrong number, 40,300 urban and regional planners employed in The United States, that's way, way, way, way, way, way less than then 16%, even if you have growth from 2010 to 2020. So this sentence is just not right when you look at this data that should be talking about growth from 2010 to 2020. It shouldn't be talking about 16% of all jobs are going to be related to urban planning. So let's see which of these choices would go. We definitely don't wanna say no change 'cause we don't think that's right. So we could say warning, however, that job growth in urban and regional planning will slow to 14% by 2020. Well, I guess there's two issues here. One, there's no data that implies that the job growth will slow to 14% by 2020, and then the other thing is the idea of warning, however, it's somehow that this Clause would contradict what was just said. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts steady job growth in this field, warning, however, that job growth in urban and regional planning will slow. And I mean, they almost contradict each other. The first part says that there's gonna be steady job growth and then the second one says, warning, however, that it's going to slow and there's no data to back this up. Predicting that employment of urban and regional planners will increase 16% between 2010 and 2020. Well, I think that's what this thing is, that this is what they're saying, that you're gonna have 16% increase in employment between 2010 and 2020. So that one looks very accurate. It's actually what's being described by this chart. Indicating that 14 to 18% of urban and regional planning positions will remain unfilled. Well, that's not what this chart is telling us. We don't have any data saying what percent is going to be unfilled, so I definitely wouldn't pick this. We would say, The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts steady job growth in this field, predicting that employment of urban and regional planners will increase 16% between 2010 and 2020. Once again, we changed it not because the sentence was grammatically incorrect not because the sentence was grammatically incorrect, but because it actually wasn't consistent with the data. It just wasn't right. The meaning wasn't correct. This C here has the correct meaning.